Interview: Christopher Poindexter

Poet and Observer, Christopher Poindexter, has uplifted and enlightened human beings around the globe through his words that have given shape to our thoughts and feelings ever since the release of his first collection, ‘Naked Human’. Stringing together poetic jewels that have inflamed our hearts with love and passion, Christopher is a vulnerable human being who writes from an unguarded space within that is abounding with raw humanness. I caught up with the man to discuss his beloved relationship with words, Instagram, the upcoming release of ‘Old Soul Love’, readers getting his poetry tattooed, the color of his aura and more.

Let’s dive right in. Tell us about your relationship with words and the first poem that you have ever written.

I have always been fond of words. I have always used words to make sense of both myself, as well as the world around me. From keeping journals as a child to always remembering the lyrics of songs, words have always been so dear to my heart. So very dear. However, it wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I got into writing poetry. We had exchange students come from all over the world to stay for a year. I fell in love with the different cultures, passions, ideas. One student in particular shared with me a book, ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’ by Oscar Wilde and from there on, I was hooked on poetry, on verse and on the way writers and poets saw and portrayed the world. It was irresistible. Therefore, I began to turn my observations into poetry. I was always an observer, so it came somewhat naturally to me. I wrote poems about anything- people, bird songs, music, food. My first poem was about a homeless man named David. Crazily enough, I sent it in and it got published in a yearly book called ‘The Stars In Our Hearts’ – I was 17.

Tell us about any upcoming projects that you are working on that we can look forward to.

I currently signed to a new publisher, Andrews McMeel, who right now is home to some of the biggest modern poets in the world including Rupi Kaur. My third book which is titled, ‘Old Soul Love’, will be released worldwide in bookstores and retail in November. I am very excited about it as this is my first book that is getting retail distribution. This is a big step in my career. It is humbling to be able to not only do what I love, but to give something back to humanity, something sacred, something I believe in, which is romantic and neighborly love.

How has maximizing Instagram and the power of social media enhanced your journey as an artist?

All of this started on social media, so it has helped tremendously. I would have never had the reach I have or the career if it wasn’t for Instagram. It has allowed me to not only get my words across the world, but to meet people from all walks of life and to understand their nature. It has been a blessing. It is something I am thankful for every single day.

Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about some of your favorite personal pieces and the tattoo artists that you have worked with to bring them to life.

My favorite tattoo that I have is one that reads ‘Ubuntu’. It’s a word from an African language called Zulu, that translates into the sentence – “I am who I am because of who we all are.” I loved it the first moment I read it, as I have always felt this intense and wailing love inside me for the human race. When I read that definition I walked down the street in New Orleans where I was living at the time, picked out a pretty font, and had the local artist tattoo it on the small of my left bicep; that word lifts me to some place higher.

If you could choose one book that speaks to your spirit at this moment, what book which you choose and why?

‘Calling a Wolf a Wolf’ by a new poet by the name of Kaveh Akbar. I recently have had my fair share with battling addictions such as alcoholism and I am not one to hide that. I believe in honesty, openness and vulnerability. This book I think comes from a very dark place, a very observant one, and the poetics cut me like a sword but also they patch up that wound as well. I related to the words, the metaphors, the colors. One line says, “It is not god I adore but the flower behind god.” Lines like such are why I began to love poetry in the first place. It’s a language. Nothing is what it seems to the naked eye. Every little thing has a bone and spirit and soul. Even this cup of coffee in front of me now.

From the outside looking in, it seems really powerful to observe readers tattooing your words on their skin. Tell us about the connection you have built with your readership and the first time that you saw your words tattooed on one of your readers skin.

Some of my favorite personal pieces that people have gotten of my work remain from lines from poems that I love. Lines such as “Love in such a way that it haunts the hate in others, after all we are made of earth and even it goes through seasons.”

It is wild to see people tattooing my poems all over their body. I think that I have received over 500 photos by now, maybe more. It keeps growing every day. People often ask me how I feel about that, and often I don’t know how to answer. But, if my words mean that much to a person that they would get it on their body forever, well, that humbles me. It grants me gratitude. Often I wonder what I did right to deserve such a pleasure, but in the end, it’s about that person and what the poem made them feel and how they choose to carry on the nature and positivity of that message.

What color is your aura? Why?

Purple. As of late, I have felt at a war with my higher self, a constant itch and pull to be a better human being, lover, giver, light. Every day I feel as if I am made of multitudes, and lately I have been deeply convicted when I do not embrace the ones that are trying to take me to the mountain top, instead of reminiscing down below, content, comfortable. Purple is the deep awareness. The passion. The art.

If you have one or had to create one, what is your mantra for your current chapter of life?

My new mantra for my current life right now is a line by a British writer, Paulo Coelho, that reads “The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.” I aim to apply this to everything; my dreams, romance, art, friendship. I aim to be brave and bold. To go beyond myself. Again, everything is purple.

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans and readers?

I just want to thank all my readers and fans for sticking with me through the years. I have always been open and honest about my demons in my work, and that is something that has made my career what it is, something people have always related to. But, eventually you reach an end and you are left with a decision. Mine was to keep sinking into a pit of darkness, or rise above it and become a better man and human. Every day I am choosing the later, yet it is still a struggle. Thank you for believing in my words and thank you for giving me a voice. I just want to give back.

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